Best Electric Radiant Floor Heating Systems
The best radiant floor heating systems must be custom designed. It's vital for homeowners to understand that premier floor heating system providers have a team of experienced system designers who customize each system for its particular application. And while some systems are better than others, no single system can be touted as the best for heating every type of floor. Several factors must be taken into account, such as the type of flooring, subfloor and size of area to be heated. Most radiant heating systems are designed for specific types of floor heating applications. The best system providers will evaluate every aspect of the customer's needs to determine the best heating element, components, and layout for each floor heating application.
There are several proven floor heating systems that are regarded as the "best in class" for heating certain types of floors. For example, what is best for heating tile floors may not be the best choice for heating hardwood. This is why it's so important to consult with an experienced radiant floor heating professional prior to making any purchase. Below is a table of radiant heat applications and the systems that are regarded as the most effective and best heating system for those types of floors.
- Floor Heating Systems
Recommended Uses: Tile, Laminates, Marble and Slate
Ceramic tile floors provide an elegant look for any home. Installing radiant heat under a tile floor adds luxurious comfort to the stunning looks. ComfortTile floor heating systems are particularly well suited for heating tile floors, as well as laminates and marble.
CT heat cable is available on spools or pre-spaced on an adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh. This makes installing the cable as easy as rolling out a sleeping bag. Because ComfortTile cable is so thin (3/16-inch), there is very little floor build up. For heating tile floors, the heat cable is laid out and secured to the subfloor and then thinset is applied directly over the cable. The tile is then installed on top.
ComfortTile radiant heating has proven to be extremely effective for heating tile, laminate and marble flooring. This is one of the most popular radiant heating systems that is also used with great effectiveness for other applications as well.
- Heat Cable for Concrete
Recommended Uses: Tile, Hardwood, Carpet
In-Slab heat cable is a rugged radiant floor heating cable designed for installation in new concrete slab applications. Capable of heating any type of floor, In-Slab is most often used to heat tile, hardwood, and even carpeted floors.
During installation, the heat cable is laid out and secured over the area to be heated and embedded about 2-inches below the slab's surface. When power is sent to the thermal heating cable, it warms quickly, and the concrete slab efficiently stores and distributes the heat evenly throughout the area to provide a nice, warmth spreads evenly across the entire floor.
In-Slab heat cable is waterproof, so it is safe for use in both wet and dry applications. Designed to produce 10-15 watts per square foot, the cable is an excellent solution for in-slab floor heating applications in both custom residential as well as large commercial radiant heating projects.
- Low-Voltage Heated
Recommended Uses: Hardwood, Carpet, Wood Laminate, Parquet Flooring
FloorHeat is a unique self-regulating, semi-conductive polyethylene heating element that can be installed directly under any material, ranging from hardwood floors to roofing. The most popular floor heating applications for FloorHeat are hardwood, laminates and parquet flooring. This low-voltage floor heating system can also be effective for heating carpeted floors.
The thin heating element makes FloorHeat an attractive option for heating hardwood floors, and is installed directly under the finished floor. When used for heating tile floors, thinset is applied directly over the heating element. No additional floor buildup is required when heating floors with FloorHeat because it is so thin.
FloorHeat is a safe low-voltage product for practically any application, so it can be safely nailed through without damaging the heating element.
- Floor Heating Insulation Panels
Recommended Uses: Wood Laminate, Carpet, Parquet Flooring
HeatShield Panels are extremely effective floor heating panels that feature ½-inch-thick polystyrene insulation covered with a thin, specially profiled aluminum with grooves for the heat cable. The floor heating system not only provides excellent insulation that optimizes the performance of the heat cable by reflecting the heat upwards to the floor. This results in an extremely energy efficient system. While HeatShield boasts remarkable performance attributes, it is also more costly than most other highly recommended floor heating systems.
ComfortTile heat cable is typically combined with the HeatShield panels to provide the ideal radiant heating system for warming engineered wood, parquet, and even carpeted flooring. In addition to the highly effective performance of HeatShield, the insulation panels are also very lightweight and easy to install.
- Film Heating Element
Recommended Uses: Heat Existing Hardwood, Tile, and Laminate floors
The RetroHeat system is one of the best values for installing radiant heat under any existing floor surface. This effective floor heating system features a thin film heating element that is installed (stapled up) between the floor joists. Bat insulation is then stapled up over the heating element to direct all the heat upwards to the floor. To heat an existing floor, you must be able to access your floor joists from below. If you can, then RetroHeat is the ideal system for retrofitting your floors with energy-efficient radiant heat.
While the RetroHeat floor heating system effectively heats virtually all types of floor surfaces, it is especially recommended for heating hardwood, tile and laminate flooring. The floor heating element consists of a thin panel that can be cut to the desired length on site and then installed. The FloorHeat system can also be used to retrofit floors with radiant heat; however, the RetroHeat floor heating system is the most cost-effective way to heat existing floors. A version of this heating element (FilmHeat) is also available for heating laminate and floating floors. This is perhaps the most recommended system for heating hardwood and floating floors.